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A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding Party Wall Notices

Renovating your home is an exciting venture, offering a chance to rejuvenate your living space. However, before diving into your project, it’s crucial to understand the legal obligations that come with construction work, especially when it involves shared boundaries with your neighbours. Informing your neighbours in advance is not just courteous but a legal requirement to avoid potential consequences.

What is a Party Wall Notice?

If your property shares a wall or boundary with a neighbour’s, and you plan on construction work on your side, the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 mandates that you inform your neighbour using a Party Wall Notice. This notice serves as an official communication about your intended building work.

Why are Party Wall Notices Important?

Failing to issue a Party Wall Notice can lead to disputes and legal actions. The Act doesn’t explicitly outline the penalties for not serving a notice, but neighbours can seek an injunction to stop the work or claim damages

Responsibilities and Recipients

The building owner, or the party planning the construction, is responsible for serving the Party Wall Notice to any adjoining owners—those with a property interest lasting more than a year. If your neighbour plans to undertake construction, they must notify you as well.

Types of Party Wall Notices

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 specifies three types of notices:

  1. Line of Junction Notice
  2. Party Structure Notice
  3. Notice of Adjacent Excavation

Line of Junction Notices and Notices of Adjacent Excavation should be served at least one month before work begins, while Party Structure Notices must be served two months in advance unless the adjoining owner consents to a shorter period.

What to Include in a Party Wall Notice

A comprehensive Party Wall Notice should contain:

  • A description of the intended work
  • The proposed start date
  • Details on any special foundations required
  • Notification of a surveyor appointment
  • An acknowledgment section for the neighbour

Additional information might be necessary depending on the specific works planned.

Format and Delivery of a Party Wall Notice

While there’s no strict format for a Party Wall Notice, it should be structured as a formal letter containing all necessary details. You can deliver the notice in person, by post, or via email, provided the neighbour agrees to receive it electronically.

Types of Work Requiring a Party Wall Notice

You must notify your neighbour if your project involves:

  • Cutting into the party wall
  • Demolishing and rebuilding the party wall
  • Altering the wall’s height
  • Removing a chimney breast attached to the wall
  • Underpinning the wall
  • Constructing a new boundary wall
  • Excavating near a neighbouring structure
  • Working on a party fence wall

What Happens After Serving the Notice?

If your neighbour consents to the Party Wall Notice in writing, you can proceed with your project. Ensure minimal disturbance and protect your neighbour’s property from damage. Conducting a condition survey of their property can prevent unjustified damage claims.

Handling Disputes and Non-responses

If your neighbour disputes the notice or fails to respond within 14 days, a dispute is deemed to have arisen. Both parties should then appoint a surveyor or agree on a joint surveyor to resolve the issue. The surveyors will issue an award detailing how the work should proceed.

Separate Notices for Different Works

Each type of work requires a separate Party Wall Notice. For instance, demolishing a wall and then building a new one necessitates two distinct notices: a Party Structure Notice and a Notice of Adjacent Excavation.


Before commencing any construction work on a shared wall, ensure you issue a Party Wall Notice. This step is not only a legal requirement under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 but also a crucial measure to prevent disputes and potential legal liabilities. Proper notification ensures smoother renovations and maintains good relations with your neighbours.

We can help you with your Party Wall Dispute. For further information, email